Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.
And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?
Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.
Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare....

MY TAKE:
I'm a fan of the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series, so as soon as I received this book as a gift, I started reading it.

In The Mark of Athena, Percy, Annabeth, Leo, Jason, Piper, Hazel and Frank, as well as Coach Hedge, begin their quest. However, in addition to the main quest, Annabeth has a special quest from her mother. This quest can unite the Greek and Roman demigods or it could tear them apart completely.

Like with the other books, this one is jampacked with battles and quests. It can get a little bit overwhelming, but the great thing about this is, it allows all seven demigods get a lot of page time, even if they're not the main focus of the chapter.

There are two big quests here. One is to solve the prophecy about the seven, which is completed at the end of the book when the seven rescue a missing demigod. As for the other quest, it's the quest that Athena gives Annabeth.

The quests had little sub-quests, in a way, which meant that the demigods meet a number of nymphs and gods that weren't in the other books. That's the best thing about this series for me, though. It puts a modern spin on the characterization of gods and goddesses, but there's just a perfect blend of traditional characteristics and new traits that make it feel like yes, that's how that god is really like.

The characters are as consistent as ever. My favorite demigod is still Annabeth, because of how strong and smart she is. Even when she needs help, it never feels quite like she's a damsel-in-distress. She reminds me of Mulan, in a way. I wonder if had Percy Jackson's world and the Disney world could co-exist, if Mulan could have been a daughter of Athena.

THE GOOD:

  1. There are no boring moments.
  2. All seven demigods get their moment to shine.
  3. The characters' relationships are very organic.

THE BAD:

  1. There's plenty of going on, which can get overwhelming.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
With his chubby face and his grumpy expression, he looked like a Buddha who'd achieved enlightenment and wasn't thrilled about it.
READ IT IF:

  1. You liked the other Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus books.
  2. You like strong heroines.
  3. You like Greek and Roman mythology.

RATING:
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